Captain Kurt Gidley admitted poor defence is what let the Newcastle Knights down on Friday night and is at the root of what needs to improve if the team is to revive the season.
Despite the team heading into the game against the Canberra Raiders feeling well prepared and confident, hopes of coming away with two points crumbled when the home team piled on early points.
“I felt really good going into game and thought we had a good week at training,” he said after Monday morning’s training session.
“The lead into the game and even the warm up, conditions weren’t a problem and we were in a really good head space.
“A fair bit of that belief and confidence was stripped away within the first couple of minutes of the game.
“We didn’t defend well the first half. The first 20 or 30 minutes was pretty ordinary.
“There’s plenty of stuff we have to work on there.”
Gidley, who played this week at fullback, said momentum was with the Raiders for a long period in the game, but by the time the Knights were back firing, it was too late to turn the game around.
"Any time you let a team get out to such a big lead so early in the game, it’s always going to be hard," he said
The team’s return to Knights HQ saw reflection on the match and areas were pinpointed for improvement before Saturday’s home game against the Gold Coast Titans.
“Part of my job and as one of the leaders in the team, you have to try to stay positive and keep working hard at things and what we work on at training,” he said.
After video reviews of Friday’s game, Gidley said communication in defence is the focus of this week’s preparation.
“When you’re a little bit down on confidence you’re probably not talking and nominating who you should be in defence and all those little things just chip away,” he explained.
“It’s about looking at your own personal game and video and your own tackles during the game and what you can do better and what you need to improve on.
“They’re all parts as individuals we can work on but certainly as a team we need to compete a lot harder than what we have been.
“We need to sort things out on the field.
“It’s the key to any team is defending well and defending well with your mates and covering each other’s back sides if someone does make a mistake defensively.”
The seasoned veteran remains steadfast the team has what it takes to turn its form around.
“I want to finish off the year in a positive way, myself, for the Club and for my teammates,” he said.
“I feel for the fans. It would have been tough as fans to watch us at the moment.
“We need to turn up with the right attitude and make sure we want to be there and want to show our fans some belief.
“I’m certainly not giving up, that’s for sure.”